MEXICO CITY – State police found 24 Guatemalan migrants suffering from dehydration inside a vehicle in Tamaulipas, a state in northeastern Mexico, while 98 other migrants were detained in the southeastern state of Tabasco, officials said on Monday.
The Guatemalans were found in the city of Antiguo de Morelos, the Tamaulipas Public Safety Secretariat said in a statement.
State police on patrol in the village of El Barranco spotted a truck and found “16 men, four women and four children, who were in an apparent state of dehydration,” inside, the secretariat said.
The migrants told officers they were from Guatemala, were heading to the United States and had been abandoned by people traffickers.
The Central Americans were turned over to the National Migration Institute (INM) for processing.
In a separate operation, 98 migrants, including 36 children, from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic were detained in the southeastern state of Tabasco.
The migrants were discovered by Criminal Investigations Agency (AIC) agents following up on an anonymous tip that a vehicle carrying foreigners had been spotted on the Cardenas-Coatzacoalcos highway, the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.
AIC agents stopped the truck, found the migrants and arrested the driver and his assistant, both Mexican citizens, the AG’s office said.
Tens of thousands of Central Americans undertake the hazardous journey across Mexico each year on their way to the United States.
The trek is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.
Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.